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Government plans for a highly controversial 'broadband tax' have been criticised by the Conservative party.

Unveiled in the Digital Britain report on Tuesday (June 16th), the scheme would see a £6 annual charge being levied on all fixed phone lines to fund universal broadband access.

Speaking to parliament after the publication of the proposals, Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt questioned the necessity of the tax for the spread of broadband to outlying parts of the UK.

The Tory MP said: "The cable revolution happened without a cable tax. The satellite revolution happened without a satellite tax.

"Everyone recognises that public investment may be necessary to reach more remote parts of the country - but simply slapping on an extra tax is an old economy solution to a new economy problem."

Mr Hunt also claimed that it would take 20 years before the tax, which is expected to raise £150 million per year, would be able to meet the estimated £3 billion cost of extending broadband to people's homes.

The 2Mb minimum speed set for the nation's future broadband services has also come in for criticism this week.

Prior to the publication of Digital Britain, super-fast broadband network builder the i3 Group claimed that the infrastructure required for such a deployment will quickly become outdated.

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